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Big Fun at AC Park

Because most of Latitude 38‘s small staff have worked together for two decades, we think of each other almost as family. With that in mind, we’re not above occasional acts of nepotism such as posting the photo below of our managing editor’s three-year-old grandson Benny, hamming it up with his dad, Zac, and America’s Cup announcers Tucker Thompson (left) and Andy Green. 

“Look Gramps, I won a polo shirt.” The home team lost, but the day was a success for little Ben, age 3.

©2013 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

At the AC Park yesterday, Benny won a raffle that earned him a spot in a quiz contest with two older kids. When the final question was posed, "What is the name of the Artemis race boat?" Benny correctly answered "Big Blue!" (He’d had just a wee bit of coaching from his dad.) For his winning answer, Benny won an official America’s Cup polo shirt signed by New Zealand helmsman Dean Barker. Pretty cool!

The home team, Oracle Team USA, had a terrible day on the race course, but the Turpin family had big fun anyway. Despite AC 34’s substantial list of shortcomings, organizers have done a splendid job of making the spectator experience at both the AC Park and AC Village exciting, uplifting and fun for the whole family. 

John and Lynn Ringseis, two other members of the extended Latitude family, were also at the AC Park on Tuesday (along with nearly all of the Latitude staff, it seems). While watching the action from the end of the wharf, they struck up a conversation with a friendly Kiwi named John Motion, who’d just flown in from New Zealand. He explained that he and his wife were lying in bed early Sunday morning (Saturday here) and after New Zealand won, they looked at each other and said, "What are we doing here?" So John picked up the phone, called Air New Zealand, and the couple hopped on a plane to SFO! John said all the Kiwis that were on the flight near him were doing the same thing!

Hands across the sea. Kiwi spectator John Motion (left) and local John Ringseis shared a front-row perspective on yesterday’s race from the wharf at the AC Park.

© Lynn Ringseis

The tiny nation of New Zealand is certainly well-represented among the fans along the waterfront. In fact, there seemed to be more Kiwis than Americans yesterday at the Park. For them, though, this is more than simply a sporting event. The Kiwi marine industry is currently suffering, but there’s a common perception that if ETNZ brings home the Auld Mug, their once-vibrant boat-building industry will experience a renaissance. Time will tell. 

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Sarah Kaplan of City Yachts reports that a man apparently jumped the fence at their Gashouse Cove docks this morning and tried to start a fire next to their office.